South African universities are ranked the best in Africa, and some do well even at global scale. But these universities need funds to keep up the standards. As it happens, much of the funding comes from the students through tuition fees. South African Universities have proposed fee increases of up to 12% next year.
Unsurprisingly, this has not gone well with the students. Many universities in South Africa were forced to close down due to recent FeesMustFall demonstrations. These include highly regarded institutions like Wits University and University of Cape Town.
The South African Rugby team, nicknamed Springboks, are chasing their third world title at the ongoing Rugby World Cup. Despite shocking loss to Japan in their first game, Springboks are still considered among the strongest teams of the tournament.
Yet not every South African celebrate when their rugby team wins. Some of them go as far as supporting the opponents of Springboks. The reason is evident when you look at the racial composition of the team, which has earned the negative nickname “All-Whites”.
Lack of rains this year has led fall of water levels of the Kariba dam reservoir on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, and subsequently diminished power generation. The water level of the reservoir is now only 40% of its full capacity. Zambia generates almost all of its electricity by hydropower plants (over 99%), with Kariba Dam being the main source. Copper mining in northern parts of the country is vital for Zambian economy, but power crisis have now forced mining companies to cut back on production. These companies already suffer from low copper prices and now power shortage means significantly increased costs. Should the situation be prolonged, mines may be forced to be closed, and thousands of workers will be sent home. The power shortage is also hurting other industries and affects the daily life of Zambians.
African universities have recently been ranked by the Times Higher Education foundation, who recently released a TOP-30 list of African universities. South African universities lead the list, as eleven out of Top 20 African universities are from South Africa. According to the ranking, University of Cape Town (UCT) is the best university in Africa, followed by Wits University in Johannesburg and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The 20 best universities are listed below:
The 2015 edition of the most celebrated cycle race, Tour de France, has now been concluded after three gruelling weeks. Chris Froome won the race, his second victory after the one in 2013. The 30-year old Kenya-born Briton led most of the race, although the young Colombian Nairo Quintana made powerful attacks in last few mountain stages. Quintana may well become the first non-western winner of Le Tour, something he already achieved with Giro d’Italia last year. Read the rest of this entry »
Road cycling is known as a sport dominated by white Europeans. If people were asked who is the best African cyclist, the most likely answer would be Chris Froome, Tour de France 2013 winner who was born in Kenya, then moved to South Africa but has represented UK for years now. Other than that, various (white) South Africans like Robert Hunter and Darryl Impey have been established names in the world of competitive cycling. North African countries (Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria) have also performed well in continental competitions, but have made little mark beyond that. But more remarkably, new cyclists are emerging from less known countries like Rwanda and Eritrea. Ethnic African riders are participating Tour de France for the first time this year. At the early stages of he competition Daniel Teklehaimanot of Eritrea made history by wearing the polka-dot jersey, given to the leader of King of the Mountains competition.
Effective since the beginning of this week (1st Jun 2015), South Africa has implemented new immigration rules which are summarised on ENCA website. This affects everyone travelling to South Africa with children and those who need to apply for a South African visa. Child trafficking is being cited as the main reason for the new rules. The South African tourism industry is, however, concerned about possible negative impact on the number of international visitors.
The attacks against foreigners in South Africa have been on the news last few days. South Africa has a high unemployment rate and large pool of unskilled youth looking for jobs. Understandably they don’t like if jobs are taken by foreigners, regardless if illegal immigrants or not. Anti-immigration sentiments are a commonplace all over the world, not only South Africa, just see any recent election result in Europe where parties with anti-immigration agendas are flying high. However, the violent nature of xenophobia in South Africa make the picture much nastier. Read the rest of this entry »